Co-op Group customers will soon be able to check-out their purchases on their phone, without visiting a till. The alternative payment method will be available via a mobile app built in partnership with Mastercard which will enable shoppers to use their phones to shop, scan and go.
Conventional payment methods, such as self-service tills and manned checkouts, will continue to be available in Co-op stores, with the new technology complementing rather than replacing existing ways of shopping and paying.
The innovative technology is currently being trialled at the Co-op’s support centre in Manchester, which is not open to the public. However, the mutual expects to roll it out more widely beginning this summer.
While other retailers have been trailing similar check-out technologies, the Co-op is the first to in the UK to make available all of its products via the app.
The community retailer explained that the decision to launch the shop, scan and go initiative was motivated by a fall in the number of cash transactions.
“It is all about consumer choices and convenience,” said Matthew Speight, director of retail support at the Co-op, adding that the Group was responding to a challenging market place by harnessing technology to deliver a frictionless shopping experience to customers.
“We listen to our members and customers and we are investing in our stores, people, prices, products and technology. We recognise there are many communities where customers pop in to their local Co-op and enjoy a friendly chat – it is all part of the service. Whereas for others, perhaps with a train to catch or on a school run, every second can count as consumers seek increased convenience.”
In 2016, Waitrose, part of the worker-owned John Lewis Partnership, made a self-scan app available to all myWaitrose customers shopping in all Waitrose branches, letting then use the app to scan product barcodes on their smartphones as they place products in their baskets.
Elliott Goldenberg, head of digital payments at Mastercard UK, added: “Technology is bringing unprecedented change to retailing right before our eyes, however, the challenge for all of us who play a part in the retail experience is meeting the needs of all consumers who are moving at different speeds in the adoption of technology.
“With the Co-op we are bringing our online and mobile capability – Masterpass – into the physical store, and offering consumers who want a fast and frictionless buying experience, a secure and reliable way to pay. By scanning products using Co-op’s mobile app, shoppers can checkout using payment card details securely stored within Masterpass, and leave the store, with both the Co-op and them knowing they have paid.”